DETROIT — Michigan goaltender Josh Blackburn admitted he was bored. He had a right to be.
The senior had to stop just 14 shots to shut down Lake Superior in Michigan’s 1-0 victory.
“I did get bored,” Blackburn said. “The guys played unbelievable defense, probably the best we played all year. And as you can see by the shots, (they) didn’t make my job too hard.
Blackburn etched his 13th career shutout and fourth of the season, and he didn’t have to do much, especially early. The Lakers tallied just three shots in the first period.
“The shutouts belonged to the guys because they earned it this weekend,” Blackburn said. “We played great.”
The Wolverines (16-8-5 overall, 13-5-4 CCHA) swept the last-place Lakers (7-20-1, 4-17-1) away from Yost Ice Arena for the first time in four years.
“They changed goalies, they played well, and you know, one goal is all you need sometimes,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “You never know how the game is going to go, but you’ve got to take care of your own end.”
LSSU freshman Terry Denike, who started after Matt Violin gave up five goals Thursday, had to face more than twice as many shots (29) as Blackburn and saved 28. But freshman defenseman Eric Werner’s power-play goal off a feed from Craig Murray 2:23 in the game was all the Wolverines needed to win their third straight.
Werner, who has been a strong offensive producer all season, finished the weekend with two goals and two assists.
Denike, a freshman, made numerous great stops, but lost for the eighth time this season. He’s now 2-8-0.
“We didn’t give up a lot of great opportunities and we are proud of that,” Lake Superior coach Frank Anzalone said. “That is how we began (our success) in 1982-83. We were determined to protect our goaltender and give him total respect and ask him to make five or six big saves, and that is what Terry did for us tonight.”
Michigan’s penalty-killing unit continued its strong play, as Lake Superior went 0-for-4 with the man advantage. The Wolverines have now killed off 47 of their last 48 power plays. Meanwhile, Michigan went three of 10 on its power play this weekend.
The Wolverines needed a sweep. Through Friday night’s games, Michigan was 13th in the Pairwise Rankings. Michigan hosts the NCAA West Regional, yet is on the tournament bubble, despite resting in second place of the CCHA.
Michigan also proved once again that it could win away from Yost Ice Arena.
This season, the Wolverines have swept four teams — Alaska-Fairbanks, Ferris State, Miami and Lake Superior. All but one of those were away from Yost.
The Lakers have one win in their last 10 games.